MORGAN CITY — Roger Erickson, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, stressed Tuesday the importance of having the public’s assistance to ensure the weather service gets accurate severe weather reports. The Port of Morgan City hosted a National Weather Service Skywarn class Tuesday. The St. Mary Parish Office of Homeland Security also partnered to organize the event. Skywarn classes, which are held across the region, inform people about how to report weather incidents, Erickson said. Skywarn consists of a group of volunteers who report to the National Weather Service, Erickson said. “The story of, if a tree falls in the middle of the woods, and no one’s there to see it, does it make a sound? Same thing with our business,” Erickson said. “If no one reports the tree falling down in the woods then, nope, we never heard about it.” Though Skywarn is typically focused on reporting tornadoes, “flooding is the big story” in this region, Erickson said. If pumps cannot keep up with the water coming in, then an area will flood, he said. Judging how the depth of water from a distance is difficult to do, which makes driving through in flooded conditions dangerous, he said. Heavy rain and flooding are generally much bigger issues in south Louisiana than tornadoes, Erickson said. “One foot of moving water can pick up 2,000 pounds,” he said. “Most of our cars and trucks are going to get picked up if it’s moving water.” National Weather Service meteorologists use radar to spot tornadoes, but to actually verify the information, the service relies “heavily on feedback from the people out in the community,” Erickson said. The service’s radar system can detect whether the activity shown is rain, hail, ice, snow or debris being thrown into the sky, Erickson said.